Wild Plakken, Lies Ros, Rob Schroder Women Against Apartheid 1984

  • Not on view

Lies Ros and Rob Schroder, former classmates at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, founded the Wild Plakken graphic design collective in 1977. Its Dutch name translates as "wild pasting" and refers to the group's early practice of pasting posters illegally around the Amsterdam city center. Since these revolutionary beginnings, Wild Plakken has continued to use design as a tool for political activism, preferring to work with socially and politically engaged clients. The group designed this poster for the Anti-Apartheid Movement of the Netherlands. It depicts two female heads, each composed of dark- and light-skinned halves. The oppositional nature of the apartheid conflict is evident in the binary composition of the poster. The seam between the red and blue top and bottom halves of the poster is overlaid with the slogan "Women Against Apartheid," illustrating its mission of unification.

Influenced by early-twentieth-century avant-garde experimentation with collage, Wild Plakken creates compositions of fragmented images juxtaposed with vibrantly colored shapes that have a spontaneous handmade quality. Its members believe that conceptual content, drawn from the client's perspective and objectives, should determine a design’s appearance; their central aim is to incite a reaction in the viewer and raise social awareness. By combining disparate elements into collaged compositions, they obscure their own authorship, letting image and text speak directly for a political cause.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 55.
Offset lithograph
33 1/2 x 23 3/4" (85.1 x 60.3 cm)
Gift of the designers through the Netherlands Design Institute
Object number
Architecture and Design

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